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Russians with residency not hit by US sanctions

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NONE of the four wealthy Russians who have acquired Jersey residency rights in the past five years were directly targeted by tough sanctions recently imposed by the US government.

Vladimir Putin talks to Russian metals magnate Oleg Deripaska, who is among those who have been targeted by the US through the use of sanctions. Picture: MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV, SPUTNIK, KREMLIN POOL PHOTO/AP

Last month, the Trump administration applied strict penalties, including asset freezes and a ban on dealing with American citizens, against seven Russian oligarchs, 17 senior Russian government officials and 12 companies they own or control, in response to the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury.

Among those sanctioned was metals magnate Oleg Deripaska (50) and eight of his companies, including three Jersey-registered firms – Basic Element Limited, a private investment and management company, EN+ Group, an aluminium and power producer, and United Company Rusal Plc, which is one of the world’s largest aluminium producers.

Mr Deripaska is understood to have quit the boards of EN+ and Rusal, which were based with finance firm Intertrust, in order to avoid the sanctions being applicable.

Locate Jersey director Kevin Lemasney revealed last month that four wealthy individuals from the Russian Federation had been granted residency rights in Jersey in the past five years.

Now, in response to a JEP freedom of information request, the States has confirmed that all of these applications were approved during 2016 and 2017 and that none of the Island’s new high-value residents were among those sanctioned last month.

The government has refused to reveal the names of the four individuals, but confirmed that at least one of them was named on a US Treasury list, which was published in January, of individuals who have benefitted from closeness to the Putin regime and who could face future sanctions.

‘It should be noted that the US Treasury’s list of senior foreign political figures and oligarchs was published after the applications and approvals [of the wealthy Russian individuals],’ the response says.

‘It should be further noted that this report is not a sanctions list and the inclusion of individuals in the report should not be interpreted to impose sanctions on those individuals. Nor does inclusion within the report create any restriction or limitations on dealing with such a person, or indicate that the US government has any information about the individual’s involvement in malign activities.’

Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich, who is known to have been granted high-value residency in Jersey, was named on the US Treasury list published in January.

Ian Heath

By Ian Heath
author

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